Jobless claims saw their largest weekly decline since the end of July last week, dropping to their lowest level in nearly two months. While economists were expecting claims to remain unchanged at 275K, the actual reading was 11K lower at 264K. So after a six-week period where claims rose in five weeks, they have now dropped for two straight weeks and are just 9K above their expansion low of 255K from 7/17.
With this week’s decline in claims, the four-week moving average also declined by 3.25K down to 272.5K. This puts this measure within 7K of its post-recession low of 266K from 8/7.
Although the headline seasonally adjusted reading was positive, the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) reading for claims was even more impressive. Coming in at a level of 198.6K, this was the lowest NSA reading for claims in any week since 1973 when the US population was one-third smaller than it is now! It was also more than 100K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.